“Another few hours and the sea will reach the beach: a small drop of time, the beat of an eyelid… Yet we have to wait, and even then we will not know much more, about us, about life, not even about death…”
“My dear, you are philosophical this morning. I know how to cure this! And we will wait for the tide together, afterwards.”
Her smile lits her suntanned face: they walk slowly up the hill, find the right spot. They could be alone in the entire universe. By now, they might be.
The rain fell, almost silent, but she could hear the little stream, outside, through the open window. She called the instant the lucid wake: those minutes before the first signs of the pale dawn. Then, everything is clear, the events of the past days in sharp relief, as if lit from inside. His smile, the fire on the beach, the shade under the pine trees, the smell of charcoal. But this wasn’t yesterday, it was years ago, her already distant past. And then it had been Summer…
Then the wine had tasted better, the air cleaner, the waves softer. His skin was like the sun itself. Where was he now? The lucid wake: she was alone, all fires long dead.
She could hear the little stream. Winter would end, another Spring would come.
Hesitantly she looked up towards the statue, the dark bronze of the goddess, dominating this corner of the island. Behind her she could hear the distant sound of waves. Now she forced herself to walk, her bare feet silent on the stones, smooth and ancient, polished by centuries of footsteps. On both sides of her stood statues and small temples. A torch was burning at the end of the path, below a portal. Steps led down to the beach.